Imperfectly Perfect

Most writers are people watchers and I’m no exception. The only difference between me and some of my counterparts is that I’m a bit of a talker and social butterfly where some of my counterparts are a bit more reserved. What does this mean for me? Front row seat v. the sidelines. It also means that it’s not uncommon for me to be used as an advice giver, sounding board or just an empathetic ear.

After the loss of my friend at the end of last week, my introspective side kicked in. It seems like there have been two common threads in the dissatisfaction my friends have been expressing: Their inability to find the “perfect” significant other and/or how they weren’t “perfectly” happy in their sex life. You guys are astute. I know you picked up on the same thing I did. Perfect seems to be thrown around a lot.

As imperfect people that’s an awfully big word to be bandied about like that…. Nobody’s perfect. Not me. Not you. We’re all flawed….and those that are narcissistic enough to believe they’re perfect? They’re not exactly relationship material, are they?

So why do we get hung up on “Perfect”? Because, seriously…my friends weren’t the only ones that got caught up in the hype. Hello! It took me 16 years before “fully” committing to my relationship with my husband by getting married. He was my best friend. He’d do anything for me and me for him…except get married.

For a little while I was afraid that maybe my beloved romance novels had given me unrealistic expectations regarding relationships. But no. That wasn’t right. Anyone who’s read the “greats” knows the men and women aren’t perfect. They fight themselves, each other, their fears…plenty of conflict…but they find a way to make it to their happily ending.

But if not my romances, what?

unrealisticexpectations

Well, okay. Maybe not Disney in particular….just fairy tales. Think about it. Girl somehow becomes a damsel in distress, in need of a rescue. The hero who rides in always looks perfect, knows what to say and wears the perfect clothes. He IS perfect. The conflict is always caused by some outside evil source that he vanquishes with a flourish….and the moment ends with the perfect happily ever after kiss. Right?

There is no accidental going in too fast for that kiss only to have your teeth smack against each other… Or someone bobs when they should have weaved and the heads get knocked together…. Or you step in and right onto the hero/heroine’s foot, Yeah…Never happens.

As for the sex…. The assumption would be that guys are the only ones who have this complaint, right? Wrong. I saw a funny clip a few days back and wondered how I was going to share it with you guys. Turns out I didn’t have long to wait. It’s a great fit for today’s post.

In porn, sex happens all over the place…often incidentally and with strangers. In fact, a friend shared something she saw the other day and I couldn’t help but crack up!

Porn

What you never see in porn are some of the stories some of my friends and I have laughed about. You know….getting so hot and sweaty with your partner that you’ve basically stuck to each other…and when you go to separate there’s a big suction “pop” sound that has you rolling with laughter. Or deciding to get all hot and racy with a partner after a day on the beach with a lover only to find out tanning oil and satin sheets don’t always go so well together as you slide onto the bed…and keep sliding…right into the bedside table.

Or maybe it’s the exhausted sex after a long day…where it’s just a relief and a release of tension. Not spectacular, but not bad. The imperfection could be caused by *gasp* a lack of orgasm. Maybe sex was initiated but fatigue and stress cause a lack of aroused response from the man in the relationship. How’s that possible? Isn’t that all men think of???? (For those of you who may not know me well…insert sarcasm here.)

So much perfection we’re expected to live up to…. Unrealistic perfection. Me? It took me a while to figure out that the hot, spicy, romantic gestures and feelings are cyclical. That much of that IS based on what we get in fairy tales and the like… What hit me over the head is when I started to notice it was a cycle. The things that never changed? The fact that the guy sitting patiently next to me was my very best friend. He knew me inside and out….and I knew him. More importantly, we loved and accepted each other just the way we were…flaws and all. The reality is, when I looked harder, I found that those flaws were almost custom made to match mine. Which made us imperfectly perfect for each other. Does he buy me roses every day and massage my feet? No. But he finds recipes he thinks I’d enjoy and makes me dinner. He’ll be at the grocery store and see Pepperidge Farm is having a BOGO on Milano cookies and will pick some up because he knows I love them. We’ll sit down to watch tv and I’ll scratch his back because I know he enjoys that. I’ll hold off watching something on the DVR till he gets home because it’s more fun to watch it together.

As for the sex…guys aren’t the only ones these days that have unrealistic expectations. Sometimes ours come from books, sometimes from porn. Either way there are things we do to one another that undermine the ability to have great sex.

Examples? Many women simply don’t talk to their men about it. They take it, they fake it…then they either don’t talk about it at all…or they complain to their friends about it. Here’s a sad truth about that… Ladies, if the women you’re complaining to have significant others, chances are that the conversation didn’t just stay between you and your friend. If their partner is friends with yours…guess who has heard about your complaints? Although we don’t acknowledge it often, guys have feelings, too. They are capable of being hurt. And before we get up on our high horse and say something about their egos…imagine how you would feel if someone important to you said you sucked in bed. Yeah. Major ouch. Guys, before you think you’re out of the woods on this one….You’re just as bad as we are, so the same thing applies to you!!!

The truth is, not every guy is uber experienced. In fact, it wasn’t until a little later in my relationship that I found out my husband, then boyfriend, was a bit intimidated by me and my experience. Sure, I was a virgin when we got together…but that was about the only think I hadn’t done…and multiple times. I assumed that because he’d had sex before (with one other girl) that HE was more experienced. After that conversation, I’ve tried never to assume again. We talk.

If communication lines are open it’s amazing how rarely misunderstandings happen. It’s also a great way to teach your partner what you like…. And you know what else? Sex is messy…and physical…so it stands to reason that there are going to be funny, goofy moments! Enjoy them! Laughter is sexy, too…not to mention healing.

Bottom line…before rushing to “perfection”….take a second. Look closely at whatever it was you were about to complain about. Is it your perception of what should be that has you bothered or is it something truly wrong? Sometimes, if you look closely enough you’ll find there’s something pretty amazing in the imperfections.

What do you think? Do you think I’m crazy for thinking this way? It’s okay to share… I’m comfortable in my crazy. Have you found beauty in imperfection? Tell me about it!

Me? I’ve embraced my imperfection… It’s made life so much more enjoyable!

Toe-tally Loved!

Every person, no matter how beautiful, sexy, in shape or “with it” they may be has some part of them that they are or have been  insecure about. As often happens with me, a comment got me thinking about it.

Someone once asked me–If you could have cosmetic surgery and change anything about yourself, what would it be? My answer? My feet. More specifically, my toes. So when Renee asked to see my toe rings and I told her I’d share. I also decided to share a bit about how I overcame my insecurity.

Gold flower on the right, gold dolphins on the left.

Gold flower on the right, gold dolphins on the left.

These are my toes…and maybe you can’t see them very well, but those are only a couple of toe rings. The flower was a gift. The dolphins were purchased at a jewelry kiosk in a mall. As you can see, they’re not perfectly symmetrical. Although my feet are a little wide, it was the lack of symmetry that bothered me.

You see, I was always the “perfect” daughter. Not so much in the sense that I was actually perfect. It was more that I was blessed. I’ve always had the cute, exotic face (and I don’t say this in conceit, but rather what has been told to me most of my life). Growing up I was petite, outgoing, smart. I made friends easily and rarely had to spend much time on studying. Then I’d look down and see my less than perfect feet.

White gold band with light pink stones

White gold band with light pink stones

 

My sister, who was a bit shy and had to study long and hard to do well in school has perfect feet. Back then, in a house where sibling rivalry abounded, it was the one thing she had that I didn’t. Oddly enough, I didn’t begrudge her the perfect feet. I just hated that mine weren’t. (By the way, that, too was purchased at one of those kiosks.)

Thanks to my insecurity I rarely wore sandals or opened toed shoes. That included flip flops. I was too self conscious to get a pedicure. Rarely did I paint my nails because that would mean touching them, looking at them. To me they were hideous.

Sometime in my late teens I started seeing a guy. Okay, so “seeing” may be a bit strong for what we were to one another. He was more like a boy toy. A friend with limited benefits. He knew I was a virgin and wouldn’t have actual intercourse with him, but we sure flirted with those boundary lines.

Why am I bringing him up? Part of our “play time” together was spent with him doing things to my body to try to convince me to give him my virginity. One day, laying naked in his bed, he trailed kisses down the center of my spine, down my buttock and legs (yes, including the backs of my knees…Yum!) until he got to my feet. I started to pull away…but the feel of his tongue on my ankle stopped me. I told him he didn’t have to touch me there….and he laughed. He obviously knew something I didn’t. As he teased the underside of my feet, I found myself squirming….and feeling very hot. When he sucked my toes into his hot mouth one at a time…I almost lost my mind. He worshipped my feet. Didn’t even hesitate.

His actions and my responses had me rethinking my feelings about my toes. No, they weren’t perfect…but they didn’t bother him. Then I had my first pedicure. It wasn’t as horrible as I thought it would be…and no one looked disgusted or said mean things. Then I moved to Florida…and flip flops became my favorite kind of footwear.

My favorite flip flops and toe rings

My favorite flip flops and toe rings

Somewhere along the way I met a foot fetishist who wanted me to wear sexy open toed shoes and walk all over him (literally). Maybe it was that moment when I stopped worrying all together. Shoot, if a connoisseur of feet could enjoy my feet, why shouldn’t I?

Above is a picture of me in my favorite flip flops…they’re sequined Dallas Cowboy flip flops. The toe ring on the left is white gold with pink stones all the way across….also picked up at one of those kiosks. The one on the right…that’s my favorite ring. I think I picked it up at one of the beach shops (maybe in Venice or Sarasota). It has a clear rubber wrap around so it looks like a flower floating on your toe.

So now you know my dirty little secret…the insecurity I’ve harbored about my body. I’m so glad someone helped me face my “ugliness” and overcome it. These days I don’t really care what other people think. I believe that every part of me is beautiful…and made just the way God intended me.

What about you? What part of you have you hated? Do you still? If you’ve overcome it…I’d love to hear how you achieved your success. If not, I hope one day you find a way to believe that you’re beautiful…inside and out. (I know you won’t believe me, but I hope this helps to show you that it CAN be overcome.)

In the meantime…I’ll leave you with some fun music by Zac Brown Band about Toes.

Love On Fire

“You know, dimples are a form of birth defect,” a boyfriend once told me.

I had been smiling at the time, the deep dimple on my right cheek obvious. I punched him. Most people find that form of “birth defect” cute.

It was also then that I realized for the first time that there’s a vulnerability that comes with opening your heart to a person. Letting them in means showing your imperfections and hoping that somehow they won’t matter. Often I think we’d settle for the imperfections being overlooked, but there’s this part of us, deep down that hopes that somehow the right person will love us not despite our imperfections, but that those things that mar the surface are actually part of our charm.

I’m lucky to have found a man who finds my flaws to be beautiful. He knows I cry at stupid sappy stuff on TV. When it happens he turns his head, looks down at me like he’s the one who lucked out, kisses the top of my head and says “I love you.” When a song I hate comes on the radio he counts in his head to see how long it will take me to change the station, then laughs. He’ll even mispronounce words on purpose just so I’ll correct him…LOL!

The one and only time I set off the fire alarms to our house happened this year. I had been baking a cake for my family and misread the tin instructions, filling it with double the amount of batter it was able to handle. The cake overflowed in the oven causing smoke to billow out everywhere. Our fire alarms are connected to our home security system. In my panic, I accidentally sent the security service to voice mail instead of answering and letting them know it was a fire alarm, prompting a visit by the fire department. My normally unflappable self had disappeared amidst the stress.

At first he tried to tease me into a better mood, but quickly realized it wasn’t going to work this time. Knowing the fire department was on their way, he sent me out to the driveway to handle them. He started airing out the house, calming the dogs while I stood outside and told the fire department that it was an accident and everything was under control. Once the smoke cleared (literally) he tried again to calm me down. Knowing I was frustrated and angry at my mistake, and that I had church early in the morning he sent me off to bed. He re-did the cake for me while I slept.

When someone can love you like that, allowing yourself to be vulnerable to them is easy. I’m lucky. I know it. But I also know I’m not the only lucky one. I’d love to hear some stories centered around flaws…maybe things you’ve found sweet or things that have been done for you to help you feel better… What can I say? Everyone loves a lover…

I think this song best illustrates how sweet that kind of love can be…